Benny Gantz, the leader of the Israeli opposition centrist Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance
Benny Gantz, the leader of the Israeli opposition centrist Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance

Ready to 'speak with everyone' about govt formation: Israel's Blue and White chief

ANI | Updated: Sep 18, 2019 11:49 IST

Tel Aviv [Israel], Sept 18 (Sputnik/ANI): Benny Gantz, the leader of the Israeli opposition centrist Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance, on Wednesday expressed his intention to "speak with everyone" about the issue of forming a new national unity government in Israel.
"I intend to speak with everyone," Gantz said on Wednesday at his party's headquarters while addressing his supporters.
Gantz said that he had already spoken with the leaders of several other parties, adding that he would also talk to Israel's former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the nationalist secular Yisrael Beiteinu party.
Lieberman earlier said that a wide coalition of his Yisrael Beiteinu party, Blue and White alliance and the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party was the only option to form the government.
On Tuesday, Israel held snap general elections to its 120-seat unicameral parliament, the Knesset. Exit polls showed no clear winner at the ballot. According to exit polls, Blue and White alliance led by Benny Gantz can count on 32-34 seats, while Likud can gain 31-33 seats. Yisrael Beiteinu may receive 8-10 seats in the parliament.
Without Lieberman's support, a potential right-wing coalition led by Likud could control up to 57 seats, while an opposition coalition led by Blue and White could gain no more than 58 seats. It means that both leading political forces are falling short of the 61 seats needed for a governing majority.
On Wednesday morning, Haaretz newspaper reported citing a source in Israel's Central Elections Committee that with 92 percent of the votes counted, Likud and Blue and White were tied with 32 out of 120 seats each. An alliance of four Arab parties, the so-called 'Joint List' is expected to be the third-largest force in the Knesset with 12 seats. Yisrael Beiteinu and ultra-Orthodox Shas have nine seats each. (Sputnik/ANI)

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